When your students arrive in your classroom every morning, you can’t help but get excited about the potential of the day. You’ve spent long hours on your lesson plans and preparing materials to support the lessons. You hope that your students will get plenty out of what you teach them.
Sometimes your students aren’t very comfortable, though, and you can see that it distracts them and takes away from their ability to concentrate during the school day. You’ve started to wonder how you could make every student comfortable at school so they can get as much out of it as possible.
When considering your furniture options for students and contemplating how to revise what you’re currently working with your chairs should be of particular concern. If you’ve watched tiny students’ feet dangling high above the ground and larger students appear to be falling out of their too-small seats, you've probably realized your chairs don't quite fit your students.
We’ve put together some of the most important measurements to help guide you in selecting seats that are the right size for your students.
1. Seat height from the floor.
Leg support is a big deal when it comes to posture and overall comfort. If a student’s feet are on the floor and their knees are bent and causing their upper legs to rise off the chair, the chair is too small. If a student’s feet are dangling far above the floor, the chair is too big. Many children are average sized, so the standard recommended chair sizes will work for them. But often you’ll get a student that is larger or smaller than usual. Don’t be afraid to try out chairs that are for younger or older age groups to make sure the student is comfortable.
Here are the standard measurements for chairs and the age groups they usually fit. Notice how sizes overlap age groups. Try different sizes for the best fit!
- Pre-K through 1st grade: 12 inches
- Pre-K through 2nd grade: 14 inches
- 2nd grade through 4th grade: 16 inches
- 4th grade through college: 18 inches
2. Seat width.
Another element to consider on chairs is how wide the seat is in comparison to a student’s body. If the sides of their legs are hanging off the chair, even when sitting very snuggly, it’s likely that the chair is too narrow for their body. Consider sizing up to see if the chair, in general, is just too small. If it’s only the width of the seat that is an issue, consider finding a specially-sized chair for that particular student.
3. Seat depth.
One other common issue with chairs is how deep the seat is when a student sits on it. If it’s too short, the child won’t feel sturdy or safe on the seat and might fall off easily. If it’s too long, a student will either be forced to sit against the back with their legs straight in front of them, or they will have to scoot to the front of the chair so their knees are properly bent but give up having a backrest. Both scenarios are harmful to a student’s posture and can cause back and leg pain. Make sure that students are comfortably positioned on the chair so their knees are properly bent (and their feet reaching the floor) and their back is easily touching the back of the chair.
4. Backrest height.
A supported back is an important part of a good chair. Make sure that the chairs you choose provide proper lumbar support and upper back support for students’ backs. Look carefully to watch how students sit in chairs to see if the back support is causing poor posture. Be willing to find a new chair if your current ones don’t offer the right kind of support and fit.
Choose Properly Fitted Chairs
Children’s bodies are all different and they grow at such a rapid pace. It will be a challenge to make sure they always fit their chairs. It’s definitely worth it to make sure they are comfortable, though! Comfortable students are attentive students. Make sure to get chairs that properly fit each student in your classroom. Keep an eye on how they fit in those chairs, looking for issues and growth spurts that would make them require a new chair.
If you’re looking for a great place to order student chairs and furniture for your classroom, look no further than Classroom Essentials Online. We offer a wide range of options for all your needs and we would love to help you choose the right furniture for your classroom. You can find us online at classroomessentialsonline.com and by calling 1(866) 404-7671.